japanese (118)
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2017 05 21 11.22.43

Fugetsu-Do Peanut Butter Mochi: Long-standing Japanese confectionary shop Fugetsu-Do, located in Japantown in downtown Los Angeles, sells its mochi at various stores around California (I recently found their products at Berkeley Bowl). This set of Peanut Butter Mochi was purchased from Marukai in Glendale, LA and contained 6 sizable pieces of soft, chewy mochi filled literally with chunky peanut butter (maybe Jiff). It feels almost sacrilegious but simultaneously like a sort of twisted American dream where peanut butter c... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 mochi butter peanut fugetsudo japanese desserts
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Kimura Yuzu cider: I think I could live in the soft drinks section of Marukai Market in Gardena, LA, with its seemingly endless array of bottles in every color of the rainbow. It was hard to pick just one, but the beautiful vintage-style label of the Kimura brand sodas stood out to me, and yuzu-flavor just felt appropriate. The fizzy drink is pretty sweet, like a tangier Sprite. Paired with the rich burger I had for lunch, it worked well, but on its own, it's a bit too sweet for my taste. Still, as an alternat... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 cider yuzu kimura japanese marukai losangeles soda drinks
2017 05 06 18.36.37

Tai Arare: I purchased this snack from Tokyo Fish Market, a Japanese grocery store in Berkeley, hoping the fish-shaped crackers would be seafood flavored, as many Asian snacks are. The Chinese character on the packaging even literally translates to "red snapper" (though I have to admit that I had to use Google Translate to determine that). Despite the name and shape, the crackers are just regular glazed rice crackers – crunchy, sweeter than you would expect, but still with a savory soy aftertaste. A... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 arare tai japanese soy ricecrackers tokyofishmarket
2017 05 08 08.46.22

Kameda Kotsubukko : Bite-sized pieces of chocolate, tins of mint, or take-away cookies never work on me as impulse grocery store purchases. But rice crackers with too-cute packaging positioned directly next to the checkout does the job. This pack of 4 snack-sized bags of sweet and savory soy flavored crackers have a deep savory taste and are portioned larger than most so that a bag is actually filling. But beyond the cute Japanese branding, they aren't particularly distinctive as far as rice crackers go. I ... (read more) 3.0/5.0

tokyofishmarket 3.0 kotsubukko kameda soy japanese
2017 05 06 13.34.15

Riska Mentai Corn Snack: I love that Japanese culture is seemingly contradictory. There is the upmost respect for serenity and simplicity, along with an obsession with quality and workmanship (e.g., tea gardens, sashimi and sushi rice, Yurbai melons) - yet, at the same time, it can be loud, brash, and colorful (e.g., manga, Pachinko). This purple bag of Mentai (cod roe) puffed corn snacks is sensory overload all on its own, with multiple exclamation points, bold lettering, and metallic silver foil highlighting. I... (read more) 4.5/5.0

tokyofishmarket 4.5 snack corn riska junkfood seafood fish roe cod mentai japanese exceptional
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Yoshimi Yakitokibi: Several months ago, I wrote a review of Trader Joe's mochi rice nuggets, a fried savory glutinous rice snack unlike any other mochi I had eaten up to that point. Irregularly shaped, almost like golden nuggets, they were crunchy and dense - the polar opposite of the chewy texture I associate with mochi. Recently, I was gifted a bag of corn-flavored fried mochi crackers, brought back all the way from Japan, where this particular flavor can only be purchased in Hokkaido. The texture and shap... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 yakitokibi yoshimi asian friend crackers mochi hokkaido corn japanese